Now that Independence Day festivities have concluded, the Lodi Police Department is looking forward to celebrating community togetherness and crime prevention next month.

National Night Out is Aug. 6, and the department’s Crime Prevention Unit is encouraging those interested in hosting block parties to register their events as early as possible.

Although participation forms for National Night Out state that registrations are due by July 19, Crime Prevention Unit spokeswoman Kathy Robertson said parties will be accepted beyond that date.

“We want to get as many parties registered as we can,” she said. “We need to know ahead of time because it’s a big job for our coordinator to get the police and fire departments, as well as city officials, to visit all the parties.”

Robertson said at least one representative from the city will visit each party on Aug. 6.

As of Monday, there were 30 parties registered for the nationwide event designed to bring awareness to crime prevention and public safety, Robertson said.

There were a total of 83 parties last year, 88 parties in 2017, and 93 parties in both 2016 and 2015.

National Night Out was created by the National Association of Town Watch in 1984, and Lodi has been participating each year since 1985.

The crime prevention unit held a kick-off ice cream social for National Night Out for Neighborhood Watch Captains to pick up registration packets.

However, Robertson said party registration is not limited to Neighborhood Watch members.

“Any group that wants to host a party is welcome to register,” she said. “Parties can be big or small, on the street, in a home or at the park. It’s really about neighbors coming together.”

Many gatherings feature block parties, contests, cookouts, bike rodeos and other demonstrations, as well as ice cream socials and youth activities, she said.

Traditionally held on the first Tuesday in August every year, National Night Out provides an opportunity to bring police and residents together to make neighborhoods safer, and strengthen their relationships, according to www.natw.org, the event’s official website.

“This is something the crime prevention unit looks forward to each year,” Robertson said. “The event is about getting the word out, and getting people to talk about what’s going on in with regard to crime. It’s a good time for everybody, and it’s so important to get together and do this.”

National Night Out events will be held from 5-9 p.m. on Aug. 6.

Those interested in hosting a party can call the Crime Prevention Unit at 209-333-6787 or email crimeprevention @lodi.gov, for a registration packet.

You can also visit www.lodi.gov/327/national-night-out to download a participation form and encroachment permit application.

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